Tuesday, September 07, 2021

NATO Chief Apes Washington's Words in Accusing China Opacity in Nuclear Policy


By Global Times

Sep 07, 2021 09:25 PM

A formation of JL-2 missiles takes part in a grand military parade celebrating the 70th founding anniversary of the People's Republic of China in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 1, 2019. (Xinhua/Gao Jie)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday said that "China's nuclear arsenal is rapidly expanding" and "all of this is happening without any limitations or constraints… and with a complete lack of transparency." He repeated the cliché advocated by Washington: "We also need to include more countries in future arms control. In particular China."

As is known to all, the NATO secretary general's words basically ape Washington's. Stoltenberg made these remarks as if he was reading a script written by Washington. In this matter, NATO's voice again demonstrates that the "multilateralism" promoted by the US is nothing but a performance of its allies manipulated by Washington. 

China's nuclear policy lacks transparency? The US and its allies try to use such narrative traps to confuse the world.

China has not made public the number of its nuclear warheads and launchers. But everyone in the world knows that it is far lower than the number of nuclear weapons in the US. They are not in the same order of magnitude at all. With such a level of nuclear weapons, if China takes the initiative to launch nuclear attacks against the US and NATO, it will be tantamount to committing strategic suicide. Isn't such transparency clear?

China is also the only major nuclear power to publicly promise "no first use" of nuclear weapons, and not to use nuclear weapons against or threaten non-nuclear countries and regions. This gives the US and its allies another protective screen against China's nuclear threat.

Once a military conflict occurs between China and the US, China will not use nuclear weapons first under any circumstance. This is certain. But if the US suffers a big loss in conventional military conflicts, is it certain whether the US will use nuclear weapons or impose nuclear threat to China or not?

Can Mr. Stoltenberg solemnly promise China on behalf of the NATO and the US that they will not be the first to use nuclear weapons against China at any time? If he cannot, then how is he qualified to accuse China of "complete lack of transparency?"

China has always declared that it maintains a level of minimum nuclear deterrence. We have proposed "minimum nuclear deterrence." Isn't this self-restraint?

What does "minimum nuclear deterrence" mean? It is the level that ensures the US dares not carry out a nuclear attack against China under any circumstance, nor dare it to start nuclear blackmail against China. Since the US refuses to promise "no first use" of nuclear weapons, China will use its own nuclear deterrence to ensure that Washington will not be the first to use nuclear weapons against Beijing.

The US used to adopt an engagement policy toward China and the bilateral relations had been eased. But since the Trump administration, the US has defined China as a strategic competitor and exerted all-round pressure on China. The US has not only made more and more offensive military deployment against China, but also mobilized its European allies to develop a military presence close to China, making a posture that it can overwhelm China militarily. China has been forced to upgrade military equipment. We want to ask: Mr. Stoltenberg, if China doesn't develop a stronger nuclear deterrence, can it withstand military pressure from the US?  

The US must refrain from strategically cracking down on China and give China the basic sense of security as an emerging power. The US' competition with China should be carried out in the economic and technological sectors, and based on international rules. Washington shouldn't resort to Cold War approaches such as strategic containment and military intimidation which only force China to prepare for the worst. 

China has no intention to become a world police-style superpower like the US. Emphasis on defense is the strategic thinking that runs through the entire history of Chinese civilization. We will never define core interests in an expansive manner as the Americans and Westerners did. When it comes to a nuclear arsenal, we think maintaining effective deterrence is enough. We have no ambition to be a nuclear superpower, nor will we have in the future. However, with the US pressure and threats growing, we need to build stronger second-strike capability-based nuclear deterrence. This is common sense and it is transparent. 

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